'Loaf-sized amber' washed up on beach sparks frenzy as crowds descend on Baltic village

Flocking to the village of Kąty Rybackie, the treasure hunters waded knee deep in the water combing the seabed in search of the precious stones (Illustration pic). Adam Warżawa/PAP

Crowds have descended on a Baltic beach in the hope of finding amber, after canal workers said they had discovered pieces ‘the size of bread’.

Flocking to the village of Kąty Rybackie, the treasure hunters waded knee deep in the water combing the seabed in search of the precious stones.

The amber is thought to have been dislodged during dredging work ahead of building a 1,300-metre canal in an area known as the Vistula Spit.

The amber is thought to have been dislodged during dredging work ahead of building a 1,300-metre canal in an area known as the Vistula Strip (Illustration pic).Adam Warżawa/PAP

The value of just a kilogram of the stones can range from several dozen to several thousand zlotys.

Amber craftsman Tomasz Ołdziejewski told local media: “I have heard reports that 200-gram lumps were thrown from the dredger and the pipe transporting sand from the bottom – allegedly, the largest piece was the size of a loaf of bread.

“When the bottom of the ditch has been disturbed, the amber will move with the current and the sea will throw it onto the beach.”

The value of just a kilogram of the stones can range from several dozen to several thousand zlotys.Marcin Bielecki/PAP

According to reports, dozens of people from as far away as Bielsko-Biała and Kraków arrived in the seaside village using Ultra-Violet and dredging with nets.

Estimates from the Polish Geological Institute show that around 5.5 tonnes of amber are annually found on beaches, compared to only 1 ton extracted from underground deposits.

Local amber craftsman Tomasz Ołdziejewski said that the largest piece was the size of a loaf of bread.Przemysław Piątkowski/PAP

The Institute also estimates that deposits of amber resources in Poland may exceed 700,000 tons.

A similar event took place in January 2019, when scores of people went hunting for the material after it was thrown up by a storm.

Originating from coniferous forests some 40 million years ago, Baltic amber is ranked top among all fossil resins.

Originating from coniferous forests some 40 million years ago, Baltic amber is ranked top among all fossil resins.Emmanuel Boutet/ CC BY-SA 3.0

Today it is most numerous in the coastal zone from Słupsk to Klaipeda.

Large deposits are also located in Możdżanów near Ustka, northwest Poland.